Muslim leaders in New York are calling on the city to take action after two Muslim women pushing baby strollers in Brooklyn were attacked last week.
Emirjeta Xhelili, 32, confronted the women Thursday and tried to rip the hijabs from their heads, punched them in the face and body, kicked them in the legs, and then rattled and knocked over the strollers carrying two babies, police said.
The victims said Xhelili screamed “this is the United States of America, you’re not supposed to be different from us.”
She also screamed “get the f--- out of America b-----s, you don’t belong here,” the women allege.
The women, both 23, and the babies, 11 months and 15 months, were not seriously injured.
Officers arrested Xhelili shortly after the incident, which they called a hate crime. Xhelili was charged with several felonies including assault, reckless endangerment of a child and harassment.
The hate crime is a serious matter, Muslim advocates in New York stated.
“We urge the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office to prosecute this horrific attack vigorously, sending the message that hate attacks targeting any minority group will not be tolerated,” said Afaf Nasher, executive director of Council on American Islamic Relations of New York.
“We urge mosques and Islamic institutions to increase security measures, particularly this weekend as the nation marks the solemn occasion of the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, which some may use as an excuse to attack American-Muslims.”
The attack comes in the wake of the murder of a Queens imam and his associate in August.